MONAHAN ON THE MOVE
2024-02-04 · 2 min read · NHL/Hockey
The Montreal Canadiens are sending Sean Monahan to the Winnipeg Jets for a 2024 first rounder and a conditional third rounder (2027). Monahan is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and alongside Elias Lindholm who was dealt yesterday was considered the top centre options on this year's trade market. Monahan has struggled with injuries over the last few seasons but was on his way to becoming a high quality top six option before then. Monahan actually scored at least 22 goals across his first seven seasons while providing high-level defensive play as well. Since Montreal added him he has more than lived up to his billing as a former No. 6 overall pick, collecting 19 goals and 52 points in just 74 games with the team; including 13 goals and 35 points in 49 games this year.
Winnipeg has struggled with consistency this year but has sat top three in the central for the whole season, but seemed like they were missing a little something. The Jets have had a bit of a hole down the middle of their top six since trading Pierre-Luc Dubois to the Kings in the offseason. Monahan who is 29 and carries a $1.985 million cap hit is a solid attempt at filling it given his pedigree and potential. However, Monahan is a UFA after the season and has an extensive injury history so this move is far from risk free. Giving up their first rounder for this year isn't huge as they are likely to have a low pick and we have seen more than once that come playoff time centre depth is even more important than usual.
When he’s at his best and healthy, Monahan is a highly intelligent center that can score and drive offense especially from the low slot. He’s extremely strong in the faceoff dot and is responsible in his own end. If Monahan can find chemistry in the Jets’ top six, this move will look majestic. But if he starts looking more like the player who fell off the map in his later years with the Flames, or struggles to stay healthy this could go south quickly. Montreal has to be happy to get a first rounder (and a third) for him especially given they gave up a first to get him and got good production from him while he was in town, plus they aren't already playing more for next year than this one.
By: Chase Howard